Conversations with a Bonefish Guide – Ask About Fly Fishing – Podcast

Steve Farrelly, started fishing in the Bahamas with world famous guide Stuart Cleare and caught the bonefish bug. Realizing that there was so much incredible knowledge that Stuart shared while fishing, he decided to try to capture it and share it with others, which he has done in his book, Bonefish Barehanded! Join us in the conversations that Steve and Stuart had and learn the secrets to fishing for bonefish in the Bahamas.

Please visit and bookmark, “Ask About Fly Fishing,” and read more about Steve Farrelly.

    • Your book Bonefish Barehanded was recently published. You chose a different approach than many fly fishing books.
    • How did you come up with the concept and tell us what the book is about.
    • Of all the guides in the Bahamas how did you end up fishing with Stuart?
    • What was your first fishing experience like with Stuart?
    • When deciding where to go to fish what were the factors that Stuart considered?
    • How could you tell whether the bonefish were feeding or not? (story about school of 200 fish that were not feeding)
    • What did you learn about seeing fish in the water?
    • What were the telltale signs that bonefish had been in the area?
    • How did Stuart use the tides to know where and when to fish?
    • Does Stuart prefer to fish with crab or shrimp patterns? Why?
    • What observations did Stuart have about small and large crabs trying to escape into their holes?
    • Tell us about how crabs use leaves to evade bonefish.

    Equipment & Flies

    • What weight rod did Stuart have you fish with?
    • Did you bring a back up rod?
    • How important is having backing on your reel? (story where client had no backing)
    • How long was your leader and tippet?
    • What are your preferred size and top three patterns of flies for clear water bonefish on oceanside sandy flats (as opposed to backcountry, mangroves and creeks) in the Bahamas? I am thinking flies for areas like Cherokee in Abaco.
    • What were some of the flies in Stuart’s fly box?

    Strategy & Tactics

    • Casting is important when fishing the salt. Where you already a proficient caster when you started fishing with Stuart? Did your casting improve with Stuart’s coaching?
    • How long did your casts need to be?
    • What are some the important aspects of casting that one should know and be proficient at?
    • How did you learn how to cope with the wind when casting?
    • What did Stuart learn from Lefty Kreh about casting?
    • Did Stuart have you fish from the boat or did you also wade the flats?
    • How did your approach to the fish differ between the boat and wading?
    • Do you prefer fishing from the boat or wading? Why?
    • Did you primarily fish to schools of fish rather that a solitary fish?
    • Did you ever purposefully try to find a larger bonefish or was finding a large one mainly due to luck?
    • How did Stuart have you present your fly?
    • Where did he have you place the fly? What movement did you give the fly?
    • How did he coach you when you were casting your fly and retrieving it?
    • How did Stuart have you set the hook?
    • How did Stuart have you hold the rod when fighting the fish?
    • What factors do you need to be aware of to avoid loosing a fish?

    Guide Appreciation

    • What are the guide’s duties?
    • How hard is it to be a guide both physically and mentally?
    • What can we do as fly fishers to make it easier on the guide?
    • Tell us about your experience of learning how to pole a boat.